CENTLIVRE, SUSANNA, was the daughter of Lincolnshire gentleman named Freeman, who, being a Dissenter and zealous Parlia mentarian, was compelled, upon the restoration of Charles IL, to seek refuge with his wife in Ireland, in which kingdom it is presumed that Susanna was born, about the year 1680. At three years she lost her father, and before she had attained her thirteenth year she was left by the death of her mother completely an orphan, and according to some accounts utterly destitute. As the scandalous story which Whincop relates of her does not appear to have any foundation in fact we gladly pass over it, and come at once to her marriage at the early age of sixteen to a nephew of Sir Stephen Fox. A twelvemonth had scarcely elapsed before death deprived her of this new protector. But the wit and the beauty which had probably been the only dower she brought the first, soon procured her a second husband, an officer of the name of Carrel, to whom she appears to have been much attached. About a year and a half after the marriage this gentleman had the misfortune to be killed in a duel, and Mrs. Carrel became a second time a widow. In this state of desolation and distress she first applied to her pen, as well for support as for the amusement of her lonely hours, and several of her early productions were published under the name of Carrel. Among the first was a tragedy, called 'The Perjured
Husband ;' but the natural bent of her genius being towards comedy, we find but one more serious drama amongst the nineteen which bear her name. Such was her attachment to the stage, says her biographer, that she became herself a performer, bnt her success does not seem to have been great, and her stay in it was of short duration. In 1706, while sustaining the character of Alexander the Great, in Lee's 'Rival Queens,' at Windsor, where the court then was, she won the heart of Mr. Joseph Centlivre, Yeomen of the Mouth, or priocipal cook to Queen Anne, and eventually married him. They lived happily together for some years, and she died at his house in Spring Gardens, December 1, 1723. Of her dramatic works, an alphabetical list is given by Baker in his ' Playhouse Companion ;' but only three out of the nineteen there enumerated keep possession of the stageó' The Busy Body,' A Bold Stroke for a Wife,' and The Wonder.' The first was greatly objected to by the actors, and the coarse expression of Willis the player respecting the play and its author is well known.